Saul Hansell at the New York Times gives Yahoo a soft-touch in describing their new ad system designed to compete with Google. The Yahoo PR team always does a good job with the press - hiding the internal outrage at the massive screw-ups and lateness to market.
Of course, Yahoo claims the new system is highly architecturally sophisticated and able to handle video ads and such. Initially however:
the first version will present only a subtle difference from what Google offers. Advertisers will simply enter the keywords they want their ad to appear next to and the maximum price they are willing to pay for a click. The most significant option will be to specify a certain geographic region in which the ads will be shown, a feature Google also offers.
The more they make it work *exactly* like Google, the easier it will be for buyers.
One wonders if Yahoo's search is gonna have any significant conversion-oriented inventory by 2007 when the new ad system actually launches?